Getting to the Poinsettia of it all

Now that the holiday season is upon us, let’s get to know a plant commonly associated with the festivities, the Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima). Native to Mexico, they are known as ‘Flor de la Noche Buena’, or ‘Flower of the Holy Night’. Poinsettias are members of the Spurge family, Euphorbiaceae. A little fact: Euphorbia is named […]

Where do baby bugs come from?

Not everyone thinks bugs are cute… but what about their babies?! Just like their vertebrate counterparts, baby bugs will often elicit an “awwwwwww!” Many of the residents of the Cockrell Butterfly Center’s insect zoo were bred and raised in-house (especially Orthoptera and Phasmida). Eggs are collected and incubated until tiny little babies hatch out. Their […]

Passionvines | A Passion for Survival

Most reading this are familiar with the life cycle of a butterfly. An egg is laid on its host plant, the egg hatches into a caterpillar, the caterpillar eats the plant, the caterpillar forms a chrysalis, and then an adult butterfly emerges to continue the cycle. It’s easy to think of the plants in this […]

The Hidden Perks of HMNS Membership

The Houston Museum of Natural Science staff is full of people who spent their wonder years walking its halls during field trips and family visits. One of those is membership manager Jacquelyn DiStefano. “I came here the first time in fourth grade,” she says. “This was when the Grand Hall looked much different. The dinosaurs […]

Plan for Planting with the HMNS Museum Store

The plant cart in the museum is a great place to find some interesting plants and Greenhouse Manager Soni Holladay has curated a list of what you may want to grab on your next trip to the HMNS Museum Store. We regularly stock the cart with blooming annuals and perennials that feed pollinators like native […]

Rules of the Rainforest | Inside the Cockrell Butterfly Center

Up view of conservancy of green plants in sunlight

Visiting the Cockrell Butterfly Center is a wonderful, sometimes cathartic experience. To make sure every plant, animal, and human has the best experience possible, I sat down with CBC Manager, Lauren Davidson, to document a helpful list of so-called “Do’s and Don’ts” to consider when visiting our fluttery friends. Don’t worry, it’s mostly a fun […]

Buck Off, Buck Moth | Houston Area Stingers

It’s springtime, and we all know what that means! Bright and cheerful flora; adorable, baby animals; a newfound will to embrace the mentality that life is a breath of fresh air/a box of chocolates/any other idiom that instills hope and wonder… But also… stinging caterpillars. The gift that keeps on giving… rashes, burning sensations, nausea, […]

HMNS Celebrates Charro, the Green Iguana

Written by Celeste Castro, Animal Care Supervisor We are saddened to announce the passing of our beloved iguana and Cockrell Butterfly Center resident, Charro. He died peacefully in his sleep on 5/6/2022 just 2 days after celebrating his 23rd birthday. He joined the CBC in the summer of 2009 and delighted visitors with his antics […]

HMNS Museum Store Hosts Local Faves

shimmering blue butterflies arranged on a wooden clock

We know. Mother’s Day is right around the corner and everyone is scrambling for the perfect, last-minute gifts. While it’s tempting to play it safe ordering a few random presents from big box stores or mega online retailers, the Museum Store has your back with unique, handcrafted gifts from some of mom’s favorite local artists. […]

Spring Cleaning: Rusty Tool Edition

In my early 30’s, I first learned about proper care and maintenance for pruning tools. Not to sound dramatic, but it has changed my life. I had no idea the power that basic household white vinegar holds over a pile of derelict tools. We all have that pair of crunchy old clippers, or that socket […]


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